Hess has released a new photo series called Go Lightly: a collection
of images of women on stairs and escalators.
With this new series, Michael aims to elevate the everyday situation
of women walking up and down stairs. Theres a certain
beauty in this moment when the focus is only on taking one step
after another, or drifting off as the escalator takes you somewhere.
Visually, stairs have always been an interesting place for
me, explains Michael. Theres this spatial quality
to them which creates beautiful canvases of straight lines. And
as theyre also a walkway, you get to capture a stream of
people transitioning through this nicely arranged composition.
For this body of work he drew from one of his inspirations, Russian
photographer Alexander Rodchenko. Some of Rodchenkos
pictures are very minimal, Michael says. The Stairs,
for example, is just a woman with a baby. Nothing more. The whole
environmental context is stripped out, it could be anywhere. Just
the essence of a mother. Thats what I love about it
this simplicity of a moment to herself.
Starting with this project in Rodchenkos hometown Moscow,
he also played with the idea of using elements of Russian avant-garde
posters. By using garish, fake colours, flattening perspectives
and eliminating certain elements, I wanted to create the effect
of a photomontage more than a photograph. To deconstruct reality
in a way.
Go Lightly is the result: a striking yet subtle portrayal of that
short moment between up and down.